Financial Literacy: The Stepping Stone to Success

Financing is the backbone of all business startups, and it’s critical that prospective business owners, particularly diverse owners, understand the financing landscape so they can set themselves up for success. 

This is easier said than done, as minority communities often do not have the resources needed to help them further their entrepreneurial dreams. Today, many companies are making strides to provide financial literacy tools and information with DEI initiatives so that anyone can make their dreams a reality, but there’s still more work to be done. 

Let’s break it down.


Navigating Financial Literacy

You decide you want to start a business, but what next? The biggest roadblock minority entrepreneurs face is a lack of knowledge and tools needed to succeed. Many people are unaware that organizations such as the International Franchise Association and Small Business Administration conduct informative webinars, conferences, and networking events on financial literacy. Spreading awareness on events of this nature is a great first step to making financial literacy accessible to all. 

With the goal of promoting diversity in franchising, resources such as the Diversity Institute, The Black Franchise Leadership Council, IFA Open for Opportunity campaigns, and SBA Community Advantage Loans give minority groups a chance to become successful entrepreneurs. 

Now, you have a good idea of where to start, but maybe you don’t yet have a path to access capital.

There are many avenues to overcome a lack of capital. Silent investors, internal financing options with franchisors, as well as community grants and financing programs are all great resources minority business owners can explore. For example, The Brooklyn Robot Foundry recently stepped up to help dreams come true by granting a fee-free franchise to a deserving entrepreneur. 

Companies also play a huge role in teaching and promoting financial literacy efforts. Neighborly places an emphasis on setting franchise owners up for success in multiple ways. 

For new franchise owners, Neighborly:

  • Leverages relationships with financial institutions to connect with potential franchise owners. 
  • Fosters working relationships with Tenet, First Financial, and other institutions who are familiar with Neighborly brands to ensure time-efficient financing.
  • Connects select existing franchise owners who are open to investing and financing startups with prospective franchise owners to provide them mentorship/guidance.

At the heart of everything we do is a passion to support and lift up our team members. That’s why Neighborly’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee regularly coordinates breakout sessions and seminars focused around topics such as psychological safety, the importance of inclusion, and books that highlight diversity of thought, race, ethnicities and culture. 

The goal is to have our organization’s leaders be the allies the Committee needs in order to ensure diversity and inclusion initiatives reach every level of the company. This in turn creates real change in Neighborly that can help us help others. 


Making a Difference

I love my role at Neighborly for many reasons, but being able to help new business owners accomplish their dreams is the best part. Without proper financial literacy training and access to capital, I wouldn’t be able to do my part in providing candidates viable franchise business ownership options to help them get started. 

Historically, financial literacy has not been taught at the levels it should be in diverse communities. Because of this, I aim to do my part in teaching and bringing awareness to financial literacy so that everyone has the tools needed to tackle business ownership. 

I am blessed to be in a position to help others achieve their dreams, and I am thankful that Neighborly provides necessary resources to make diversity and inclusion a priority across the board. 


Written By Brian Woods, Group VP, Franchise Development, Neighborly on LinkedIn

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